Naked City

Different Drummers

Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett took the House floor Sept. 4 to strongly oppose the Bush administration's drumbeat for unilateral military action against Iraq. "Mr. Speaker, overshadowing all of our hopes and dreams for our families and for our country is the daily talk of war," Doggett lamented. The administration's apparent intent to launch a unilateral invasion of Iraq, he said, is unprecedented in American history -- "in ignoring the warnings of military experts ... rejecting the advice of U.S. allies and, most importantly, in the dangers posed for the safety of American families everywhere.

"At one time 'regime change' was the now-abandoned goal of our foreign policy toward an island 90 miles off our shores," Doggett continued. "Immediate success is even less certain for a regime on the other side of the world through a means uniformly rejected at present by the countries of the region. Of course, Saddam Hussein is a menace, as was Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, as was Josef Stalin. But able policymakers of both parties found ways to contain such threats without starting what could become another World War.

"Mr. President, unite our country and the world to eliminate weapons of mass destruction; do not divide us by making war the first instrument in your foreign policy," concluded Doggett. He's not the only Texas rep to speak out against the growing possibility of a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq: Republicans Dick Armey and Ron Paul have also argued strongly against war. But Doggett said that as far as he knows, Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee is the only other Texas Democrat who has spoken out publicly against the White House drive for military action.

Doggett says he was among 50 members of the House Democratic Caucus who earlier this summer tried and failed to persuade their Dem colleagues to take a united stand against the administration's war plans. While some Democrats may support military action against Iraq, many more may be hesitating to speak out because they are understandably wary that evidence may appear -- or that the Hussein regime may do something -- to persuade them the threat is real and imminent, he said. "Almost everyone is pretty tentative," said Doggett, "but my sense is that unless we take some risk and get out and speak out about it, we're in danger of becoming part of the problem instead of part of the solution."

Doggett said that until loud opposition was raised from within the GOP and internationally, the Bush White House appeared intent upon war without even the pretense of consulting Congress. House members opposed to unilateral action plan to meet following the president's Thursday speech on the subject, to decide what to do next.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines

    Naked City

    Austin Stories

    Naked City

    Beyond City Limits

    Naked City

    Happenings

    Naked City

    Mark Rose's multifaceted career has taken him from the Austin City Council to the Lower Colorado River Authority, to Public Strategies Inc., to solo consulting, to his latest stopover at the Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative in Giddings, east of Austin.
  • Naked City

    Developer Gary Bradley insists he's broke, but a Travis County judge this week refused to reduce his child-support payments of $4,800 per month.

    Naked City

    State District Judge Scott McCown leaves the bench Sept. 20 to become the executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

    Naked City

    Jurors spent week four in the capital murder trial of Yogurt Shop Murders defendant Michael Scott considering DNA evidence and testimony from several of Scott's high school friends.

    Naked City

    An attorney for Lacresha Murray and her grandparents and siblings filed suit in federal court claiming a litany of civil and constitutional violations stemming from Murray's 1996 arrest and subsequent three-year incarceration.

    Naked City

    File Waco Tribune-Herald publisher Rowland Nethaway's Sept. 9 Statesman column under the category, "Dead on Arrival.

    Naked City

    Houstonian Billie Carr, a longtime Democratic Party activist and dedicated organizer for the liberal wing of the party, dies from a stroke.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle